Bill Providing Paid Maternity Leave for State Employees Passes House
OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Nick Archer, R-Elk City, on Tuesday passed legislation in the Oklahoma House of Representatives to provide six weeks of paid maternity leave for full-time state employees following the birth or adoption of a child. Under Senate Bill 193, mothers must be full-time state employees for at least two years before being eligible for the leave, which could be used for the birth or adoption of a child. Employees would not be required to use their accrued leave for the initial six-week period but would have the option to use such leave for any additional time off for up to 12 weeks as required under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). "Ultimately, this bill would save the state of Oklahoma millions every year," Archer said. "The goal is to help state agencies recruit and retain talented Oklahomans who provide services to our communities. This is a workforce issue. As the largest employer in the state, Oklahoma should be the leader in supporting mothers and families." According to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, employee turnover cost the state over $100 million in 2021. SB193 passed the House 70 – 21 with its title struck . It now returns to the Senate for further consideration.